From left to right: Dr. Tudor Vlad, associate director of Cox International Center at University of Georgia, Dr. Dan Lazar, vice president of Babes-Bolyai University, Romania, Dr. Ioan-Aurel Pop, president of Babes-Bolyai University, Romania, and Dr. Jere Morehead, president of the University of Georgia.

President of Babes-Bolyai University, Romania, Visits University of Georgia

Dr. Ioan-Aurel Pop, president of Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, visited the University of Georgia Nov. 17 and 18 for meetings with President Jere Morehead and other top university administrators.

President Pop was accompanied by Dr. Catalin Baba, former minister of education in the Romanian government, Dr. Dan Lazar, vice president of economic affairs at Babes-Bolyai University, Dr. Sorin Filipescu, vice president for scientific research and publications, and Dr. Calin Hintea, dean of the College of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences.

“Our universities have a Memorandum of Agreement signed, and I know that we’ve had successful partnerships in chemistry, public administration and journalism,” president Morehead told the guests. “I’m sure we can identify other areas of collaboration, and we are interested in expanding our presence in East and Central Europe.”

“We are honored that we’ve had an opportunity to visit with you, President Morehead,” said President Pop. “We know how busy you are today, one day before the investiture ceremony, and we wish you a lot of success tomorrow and during your entire tenure.”

The visit was organized by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, a unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

Babes-Bolyai University is the oldest, largest and most prestigious university in Transylvania, in the western part of Romania. Its history goes back in the 16th century, when the first higher education institution was created in Cluj by Stephen Bathory.

The university has more than 40,000 students and more than 500 study programs taught in Romanian, Hungarian, English, French and German.

“I’ve researched your political sciences and public administration program on the web and I am impressed with what you have accomplished’” said Dr. Stephanie Lindquist, dean of the School of Public and International Affairs. “I would be glad to visit your program in the spring to discuss what we can do together: I see the potential benefits for our students and faculty.”

The Romanian administrators had a meeting with Dr. Paul Brooks, associate vice president for public service and outreach. He said the university always attempts to get involved in the community and have a positive impact off campus.

“Dr. Rusty Brooks told me a lot about your university after teaching the communication management course in your post-academic public administration program,” said Laura Meadows, director of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. “I envision a hub for transitional local government learning to be located at Babes-Bolyai involving the faculty of the College of Political, Administrative and Communications Sciences (FSPAC) in partnership with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and the Cox International Center.”

FSPAC Dean Hintea agreed. “We can provide faculty who were government officials during the most difficult transitional period in Romania’s recent history, while you will bring practical and tested solutions and strategies that come from your experience of training public administrators in a consolidated democracy.”

Cluj-Napoca has been elected the 2015 Youth Capital of Europe, president Pop said during the meeting with Dr. Kavita Pundit, associate provost for international education, and Dr. Jane Gatewood, director of international partnerships.

“I think there are going to be many opportunities to make our students work together in projects related to that one-year event,” he added.

On a social side, the five Romanian guests were invited at the weekly lunch of the Rotary Club of the Classic City, where President Pop gave a presentation on Romania’s diversity reflected in church architecture.

From Athens, President Pop went to Orlando, Fla., where on Nov. 18 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the best international adult and continuing education world professors.